New Tanzanian ambassador to Rwanda Ali Idi Siwa promised Wednesday the relationship between the two countries was entering a new phase that would be characterized by integration projects.
“In respect to the relations between Rwanda and Tanzania which had fallen into an unfortunate situation, we would like to say that let the bygones be bygones, we are starting a new chapter now, ” Siwa said.
He spoke after presenting his credentials to Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame in Kigali.
He described past lukewarm relations as one time unfortunate events, noting the two bordering countries have always enjoyed warm relations and would continue in the interest of their citizens and the region.
The relations had reached lowest point due to alleged links between Tanzanian officials and Rwanda’s rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) based in Congo.
Tanzania and Rwanda, Siwa said, have always had a good relationship; there have been some occasions which we should not let the occurrences define the picture of the whole relationship.
“Let’s look at them as unfortunate events and leave them at that. The two presidents have met and ironed out things and we are starting a new footing and improving our relations,” Siwa said.
He pointed to the recent Central Corridor presidents’ summit held in Tanzania, saying it was agreed that construction of a standard gauge railway would commence in June this year linking Tanzania to Kigali and Burundi.
The presidents’ summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania concerned the Central Corridor projects.
“As far as the Central Corridor, we are preparing to construct a new railway line which will be standard gauge and will run from Dar es Salaam to Kigali and Bujumbura. Construction is going to be flagged off in June this year,” the Tanzanian envoy said.
The Rwanda leader was recently in Tanzania for a two-day High Level Industry and Investors Forum.
The visit came weeks after Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete honored an invitation by Kagame to attend the recent 9th Northern Corridor Integration Projects summit in Kigali.
Rwanda and Tanzania had recalled their envoys last year and reappointed new ones, but their accreditation process stalled as relations between the two countries became frosty.
The former minister counselor of the Tanzanian Embassy in Germany presented his credentials along with Namira Nabil Mohammed, the new Egyptian ambassador to Rwanda.
Ambassador, Nabil commended Rwanda for recently appointing an ambassador her country, saying it would facilitate the implementation of joint agreements in areas of economics, trade and health.
Rwanda’s cabinet last month appointed Sheikh Saleh Habimana as Rwanda’s ambassador designate to Cairo.
Nabil said Habimana’s presence in Egypt will help to build on the outcome of the economic and development conference that took place in Sharm El-Sheikh and promises that were made to the president on Egyptian investors coming to Rwanda.
She noted that there were numerous investment opportunities between the two countries some of which were already being pursued by Egyptian investors in health and energy sector. Enditem